Monday, 17 September 2012

Pre-op mayhem

First appointment on Monday is the pre-admission nurse, for bloods, urine, blood pressure, body mass index and collecting all the thousands of pieces of data the hospital needs. They have all this from the colonoscopy, but they need it again and more for in patient procedures. The nurse is marvellous and answers all our questions about what will happen at the hospital pre and post-op. it's a surprise to me to learn that post-op I will have a High Depency bed because my nursing needs will be high. That hadn't occurred to me. There will be saline drips, IV pain relief, a catheter and compression boots to prevent DVT. All I'm focused on is what we tell DD and where the balance is going to be struck by letting her visit and yet not have to deal with all the kit. Despite this, both DH and I leave feeling that we are better prepared and that we have been given lots of time.

Stoma nurse next, when we can track her down in the maze of the adjacent NHS hospital. It does surprise me that anyone chooses to specialise in this area, but I'm grateful that they do although in this case I'm hoping to avoid their services. An ileostomy might be needed to allow the anastomosis (bowel join) to heal, so she's prepping me for the worst case scenario. She is relentlessly positive that it is all very straightforward, simply a matter of popping bags on and off this tiny protrusion of bowel, or easy emptying of bag contents. Intellectually I get that this is nonsense, of course it's not going to be simple, but I'm not really listening because I don't believe it's going to happen. Nor does she, given what the consultant has said to her, so her heart's not in it either and she spares me the practice pack. She does give me a desperately over-optimistic magazine sized publication showing lots of happy smiling people with ileostomies. All the people pictured are grey haired, which doesn't help me connect with the idea at all. The most useful thing from the appointment is that I see her copies of the consultant's letters to my GP so learn exactly where the polyps are and what he's done (small one in the transverse colon, removed; large one in the sigmoid bowel, hot biopsied, containing moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma cells). Interestingly he also comments that my thyroid count is low - maybe my eternal exhaustion isn't just down to two children and a full time job. GP hasn't picked this up yet, so  I add it to the list. Probably not no. 1 priority right now...

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